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  • Writer's pictureAnu Metsallik

Case Study: Upgrading Customer Service at Hedon SPA & Hotel with HotelBuddy

Hedon Spa & Hotel in Pärnu, Estonia, is a distinctive retreat on the white sands of Pärnu beach, blending historical elegance with modern luxury. Its spa integrates the famed therapeutic mud baths of Pärnu, enhancing the wellness experience. With 75 rooms and suites primarily located in its modern wing and gourmet dining at restaurants Raimond and Akord, Hedon embodies its motto, 'Pleasures live here,' offering guests a unique blend of comfort and indulgence.

Hedon Hotel and Boutique Spa
Hedon Hotel and Boutique Spa

Interview with Romet Rahnu, Head of Sales Department at Hedon SPA & Hotel 

Q: Did Hedon Spa & Hotel face any specific challenges before implementing HotelBuddy?

A: We faced challenges with long check-in queues in the summer and on weekends starting from 3 PM. This issue affected especially our repeat customers, who were familiar with the hotel's procedures but still had to wait in line to get their room key.

Implementing HotelBuddy has allowed these guests to complete check-in processes online in advance, receive notifications when their rooms are ready, and access their rooms using mobile keys, all without the need to stop at the reception desk. Our aim, especially for members of our loyalty program called the Fan Club, was to streamline their arrival experience, making it as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

Q: What influenced your decision to adopt HotelBuddy's self-service solution?

A: Our decision to implement HotelBuddy was influenced by pre-existing relationships and trust with the company. The option to have a free trial was also a favorable factor. Our hotel's dedication to embracing local and Estonian businesses made the choice even clearer, as we always strive to support local enterprises. At that time, HotelBuddy emerged as a unique solution that perfectly aligned with our values and requirements, making this a natural and confident choice.

Hotelbuddy web-app works in guests browser and does not require app downloads
Hotelbuddy web-app works in guests browser and does not require app downloads

Q: How did integrating HotelBuddy align with your existing systems and processes?

A. Initially, it wasn't perfect, requiring several adjustments to our procedures. However, in retrospect, these adjustments were beneficial for our operations.

Looking back, I believe the most important factor in the successful adoption of HotelBuddy was staff training and having a project leader who coordinated everything. Once our team fully grasped the new system's functionality and advantages, everything started working smoothly. We had our receptionists simulate the entire guest journey themselves, using their own cell phones. This hands-on experience was invaluable in helping them fully grasp the system's capabilities and, consequently, in addressing guest inquiries more effectively.

We initially rolled out the system to our Fan Club members as a soft launch, allowing us to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments before extending the service to all guests.

HotelBuddy digital guest directory has increased extra services revenue
HotelBuddy digital guest directory has increased extra services revenue

Q: What specific improvements have you observed since implementing HotelBuddy? Can you share any quantifiable metrics?

A: The implementation has notably decreased waiting times for our loyal customers, made payments more straightforward with prepayments through HotelBuddy, and seen an increase in user adoption. Our aim has not been to reduce reception staff; instead, it has allowed the receptionists to spend more quality time with guests seeking personalized service and more in depth advice for planning their stay.

Since the implementation of Hotelbuddy in November 2022, the hotel has observed notable engagement from guests with the system. 54% of guests have utilized the online registration form to save personal data, and 28% have completed the online check-in, including exploring and booking extra services and making prepayments. Around 10% of guests have opted for mobile check-out. This digital shift has not only streamlined operations but also contributed financially, with over 2700 euros generated from additional services and close to 1300 euros from room upsells.

Q: How has HotelBuddy impacted your hotel's online ratings and reviews?

A: The feedback has been predominantly positive, reflecting an appreciation for the streamlined processes. However, there are always some guests who prefer traditional methods.

Guests can communicate with hotel staff and manage their whole stay from their mobile phones.
Guests can communicate with hotel staff and manage their whole stay from their mobile phones.

Q: Who would you recommend HotelBuddy to?

A:I truly believe HotelBuddy is beneficial for all types of hotels. For larger establishments, it streamlines the check-in process, effectively reducing long queues and enhancing operational efficiency. Boutique hotels, on the other hand, will surely find value in how it allows their front desk to prioritize personalized guest interactions.

Beyond these operational efficiencies, HotelBuddy introduces an additional communication channel, empowering guests to interact with us on their terms. This aligns perfectly with contemporary expectations for flexibility and convenience.

Guest room at the Hedon SPA& Hotel
Guest room at the Hedon SPA& Hotel

Hedon SPA& Hotel


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